Dialog Box


Youth Programs & Services

Running Start

Running Start is a unique and proactive approach to working with young people leaving the out of home care system to access independent living.  A consortia approach delivers improved access to housing as well as guidance and support services to young people leaving state care.

One of the biggest challenges facing young people leaving state care is finding sustainable accommodation and the support and guidance to make what can be a stressful transition to independent living.  Without appropriate support many end up facing homelessness.

Running Start – a partnership between Kids First, Berry Street, Council to Homeless Persons (CHP), Launch Housing and Department of Health & Human Services – aims to fill this need in the community.

The program entails CHP accessing a rental subsidy via funding from Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd. Meanwhile, Launch Housing assists with identifying affordable rental options.

Running Start receives referrals via agencies such as Vincentcare, Mackillop Family Services, Melbourne City Mission, Anglicare and Berry Street (who are a part of the Running Start consortium), in addition to other services and self-referrals.

Clients receive individualised case management within a flexible service delivery model with levels of support tailored to the young person’s needs. Together this alliance is structured so that eligible young people (17 – 22yo and living in the Northern Suburbs) can begin their adult journey with the safety and empowerment of a stable, independent living arrangement.


Melbourne University has been engaged to undertake an independent formative evaluation of Running Start. This entails analysis of qualitative and quantitative data to determine how well the program is achieving its goal of improving housing choice, affordability and pathways for young people whilst positively influencing other key milestones in relation to the transition to independence.

For more information about Running Start please contact Vicki Dunell at vdunell@kidsfirstaustralia.org.au or call 0409 006 126.